Spartan Cinema

150 Mason Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Spartan Theatre

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Spartan Theatre  San Francisco

Located in the Tenderloin district of the city center. The Spartan Theatre operated in the early-1970’s. By the mid-1970’s it had been renamed Spartan Cinema and operated as a gay male porn cinema.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

robertgippy on July 8, 2005 at 6:26 am

The Spartan Theatre was a very interesting place. It played gay movies. When you walked in there was a restroom to the left and a little cozy lobby. You walked into the auditorium which was a fairly good sized auditorium, about 300 seats, with a quite large movie screen and stage. On the left of the stage there was a doorway, with restrooms and next to that, a huge room with cubicles the size of horse stalls with huge leather curtains blocking each one. It was gutted by a fire, and when the fire hit the counter with the poppers enclosed, it caused a massive explosion that shook the buildings around like a earthquake.

GSenda on May 12, 2006 at 12:58 pm

Before the Spartan was a gay theatre, it played straight X-rated films there in the 70s.

I recall seeing one called the Nurses there and recently found a tape of it in Sacramento.

It may have been a regular theatre at one time.

I will go buy some time and see it’s current status and let you all know.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

kencmcintyre on July 14, 2007 at 8:06 pm

Speaking of SF porno, the Chronicle website reports that Jim Mitchell died of a heart attack on Thursday. I didn’t see this in the LA Times yesterday, so this is a bit of news.

seymourcox on May 2, 2011 at 9:00 am

I was once told by an oldtimer that the Spartan Theatre originally opened as a newsreel theatre. Attendance at the Spartan was always brisk during the after work rush hour. A quite long, curved lobby jogged into a standee area. To the left of the standee was a wide auditorium with four isles that seperated three sections of upholstered theatre chairs. Black walls were decorated with blacklight male nudes, and Art Moderne lighting fixtures dressed up a black ceiling. A rather large stage apron hosted live male strip revues between features. “Private dances” could be had behind the screen…for a price.

seymourcox on May 3, 2011 at 2:57 am

Does anybody remember if the Spartan and Tom Kat were one and the same theatre?

kcinffx on October 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm

If you’d like to see this theatre closer, seek out a 1976 adult movie HONORABLE JONES COMES OUT. It follows a city district attorney as he investigates porno theaters in SF. You get very good footage of the exterior of the theater, with a poster advertising ABDUCTION (aka ABDUCTION IN THE PARK, from the same production company as HONORABLE JONES) and the marquee, and the movie actually shoots a lot of its narrative within the screening room itself.

Ghostowngay on March 17, 2016 at 3:35 am

The Tea Room Theater on Eddy Street is the only similar type venue left in the Tenderloin.

jwmovies on February 8, 2022 at 5:48 am

And now THAT’S (trt) gone too!

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